By Clay Eubanks, President, Takeuchi US
The first quarter of each year is always critical for our company. This year started with our Sales School program and lead right into The ARA Show. Both events are great ways for us to stay connected with our dealers and customers alike.
Our team has been hosting Sales School for decades. Held at our corporate office campus in Pendergrass, Georgia, Sales School is the largest dealer event that Takeuchi holds. During a two-day in-depth review, our regional product managers and office staff train Takeuchi U.S. and Canadian dealers.
Many manufacturers run programs like this for their dealers, but what makes Takeuchi’s program unique is reviewing competitive products side by side with ours. We discuss both the good, the bad and the ins-and-outs for each comparable product. To feel the Takeuchi difference firsthand, we encourage dealer staff to operate Takeuchi and other branded machines during the training. Doing so always stimulates great questions and feedback.
Sales School is a true win-win for all involved. For Takeuchi, we are able to network with our dealer personnel and teach them all about our products. For dealers, they understand the importance of continued training so they can be the best possible resource for their customers.
With constant innovations in equipment between T4F engines, Takeuchi Fleet Management (telematics), hybrids, battery power, new attachments and more, our dealers understand this investment in our class is priceless.
The Takeuchi dealer network continues to grow each year. In fact, in 2018 we brought on 10 new dealers. As our dealers increase around the country, so does our Sales School event. At the very beginning, our program hosted 50 dealer staff for a two-day event. Now we host multiple sessions with approximately 200 dealer personnel on site. We could not be more pleased at how much our program has taken off.
Take a look at some of the best moments from this year’s Sales School: https://www.facebook.com/TakeuchiUS/videos/2208496429403482/
The ARA Show
This marks the 40th year for Takeuchi in the U.S. Like any milestone anniversary, I like to use it as a good time to reflect on our roots. Part of those roots are entrenched in the American Rental Association, which we have been a member of since coming to the U.S. in 1979.
I’ve been with Takeuchi since 1984, and in all my years here we have never missed The ARA Show (formerly The Rental Show).
The rental business is instrumental to the Takeuchi brand and to the core of our business, and heavy involvement with it is essential. This includes my time serving as the ARA’s Associate Member Director from 2008 to 2010 in addition to Takeuchi being an annual sponsor of the show.
This year The ARA Show was held in Anaheim, California for the first time since 2003. Despite a smaller attendance than last year in New Orleans, the show met our expectations with solid sales and booth traffic.
Interacting with our customers at the show is always a good parameter for how we feel the industry will perform. We had a lot of traffic make its way through our booth and the overwhelming vibe is that business has been great for all of our customers. It seems our customers have money to spend, and we saw people in Anaheim we don’t normally see. The mood is very optimistic.
Rental is the channel that helped grow a new industry segment of compact excavators and track loaders. Takeuchi would not be here today if it was not for the pioneering spirit of rental operators around the country who are willing to take a chance on new products.
In typical fashion, quarter one flew by. And, from new product introductions to new technology and more, there is plenty more in store for the rest of the year. Stay tuned.